How To Find A Good Property Accountant

How To Find A Good Property Accountant

27 July 2022

Finding the right accountant in any realm is always difficult, but here in the UK, property accountants seem to be especially difficult to find.

Not only do you have to find specialist property accountants with an in-depth knowledge of the property sector, you then need to vet them to decide if they're a good accountant that can help you on your property journey.

But don't worry. Today, we'll take you through what a property accountant is and, more importantly, how to find a good one.

Join us below for more.

What Are Property Accountants?

Property accountants work with property investors, landlords, property developers, and almost anyone in the property world to provide advice and support.

Unlike regular chartered accountants and accountants offering tax advisory services, a property specialist chartered accountant is specifically trained in property investment, development, and has experience and expert knowledge about a range of property businesses and opportunities.

In other words, they have in-depth knowledge about accounting services as they relate to buying property, selling property, and everything in between.

When You Might Need One

If you or your team are property investors or developers, then working closely with property accountants is a must!

Even if you use property accounting software, have an extensive property portfolio, and have worked in the property market for years, working with property professionals in accountancy is vital, because they can support you in ways you may not have realised...

How Can Property Accountants Help You?

Below are just examples of some ways property accountants can help you as an investor or developer:

  • Capital gains tax planning
  • Mitigating mortgage interest relief and tax mitigation
  • Filing tax returns (self assessment and limited company)
  • Support with tax planning opportunities
  • Obtaining tax relief
  • Show you ways to trim your tax bills
  • Manage tax implications
  • Support with Making Tax Digital
  • Advice for buy to let investors
  • Advice for recent changes to capital allowances
  • Support for those working with buy to let and holiday homes
  • Provide information and support to private landlords
  • And so much more

The point here is that specialist property accountants and property tax specialists can provide you with the property tax advice, support, and knowledge to make your tax return easier to file, cut the overall cost of your tax bill, and help you make sound investments moving forward.

An accountant who works in the property sector is far better at understanding the property business and can provide the relevant tax advice to make your job as a landlord, investor, or developer a much simpler one.

Getting The Right Property Tax Advice

The first thing you'll need to do to reap these benefits, though, is find the right accountancy firm for you.

Generally, you should start by looking for a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales that specialises in property specifically and who has a company number to prove their legitimacy. And at the very least, you should look for an accountancy firm or individual accountant that has a broad range of experiences and knowledge - but property specific accountants should always be your top priority for up-to-date advice.

Finding Good Property Accountants As Property Investors

But even once you've located property accountants, you can't always be certain that their property tax advice is sound.

In order to help you sort the good from the bad, let's take a look at what you should look out for, and some of the warning signs, so you can find good property accountants.

What To Look Out For

Interest In You

The first thing you should expect is for the accountant you're considering working with to be genuinely interested in you. The first thing out of their mouth shouldn't be about them. It should be showing a genuine interest in you and your goals, so they can properly advise you about how they can help you achieve everything you want to achieve.

If their first interest is in you, the limited company/investor/developer, and not you, the person, then it's time to move on.

Full Cost Breakdown Up Front

Any self-respecting accountant will be able to provide you with a detailed breakdown of their cost, showing their hourly rate, job rate, providing a written quote, explaining any fees, and explaining why you'll pay what you pay for their services.

If they aren't making it abundantly clear how much money you'll be spending and why, then they're not right for you. Property accountants know how much things cost and the sort of work they'll need to do to help you - if they can't provide this information soon after your first meeting, then you probably shouldn't arrange a second.

References

References mean a lot in the accountancy world, so if related businesses to your own are willing to provide references for an accountant who specialises in property, then you know you're on to a good thing.

Word travels fast in accounting, and seeing clients of theirs being willing to recommend their service is a strong start. So ask for references, and make sure you contact them via phone calls or e-mails and listen to what they have to say.

Testimonials

Similarly, look out for testimonials online. These can be mightily handy when helping you decide if an accountant is right for you. Specifically focus on those reviews and testimonials that mention property, and see how they've helped clients just like you in the past.

Accountants are proud people - if someone is saying nice things about them, they'll want you to see it. So check their website and independent review sites to get the full picture.

Expertise

Generic accountants won't do. When you're meeting with a potential accountant for the first time, make sure they know about investment in property, filing tax returns for investors, working with landlords, dealing with buy to let properties and anything else that's relevant to you and the business you run.

You want someone with a proven track record in the areas you need assistance with - so make sure you ask these questions when meeting with a potential accountant so they can prove their expertise is in property.

Up-To-Date

Finally, make sure they're up-to-date. Ask them about the technology they're using now, question them about recent changes in tax laws and filing tax returns.

Our point here is that good property accountants will always prioritise professional development to give their best to clients and improve their services. If they can prove they're up-to-date, that's a plus.

Warning Signs

Bold, Unfounded Claims

Any accountant who makes bold, sweeping statements about what you should or shouldn't be doing right now in the property market probably isn't a specialist.

Specialist property accountants don't make claims based on the market and what others are doing. They look at your situation and provide advice that's relevant to that. So be wary if the accountant you're meeting is jumping in with suggestions before really understanding you and your business approach.

Self-Serving

Any accountant that's interested in what you can do for them first, rather than what they can do for you, isn't worth considering. Accountants are here to support and advise, focussing on what you and your business need to succeed further - not what they need.

Lack Of Experience In Property

This is the biggest red flag. If they can't show a proven track record in accounting and property, then they shouldn't be working with you.

The expertise is key here, because it's ultimately what will save you money, make your tax returns easier, and mean smarter investment choices in the future.

Final Thoughts

Property accountants are an integral part of the property world. Finding the right one here in the UK can be hard, but if you follow our advice and stick to the experts, you'll certainly see how they can benefit you in your future work!

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